How to Become a Procurement Officer

Procurement Officer

Procurement officers work in the buying of products and services. They will negotiate contracts, ensure that the business is running smoothly in regards to product sourcing, and find suppliers.

Procurement officers purchase products on behalf of a company. They analyse data, forecast what products they require and form relationships with suppliers. 

Procurement officers will purchase various items, including: 

  • Individual items that will make products to be sold by their company.
  • Products in their entirety that are sold by their company.
  • Goods and services for the company.
  • Marketing and advertising for the company.

Therefore, they might not always be purchasing items in their physical form.

The duties of being a procurement officer will vary, depending on what industry they are working in, but they can include:

  • Predicting what the levels of demand will be for particular services and products. 
  • Researching the best products to purchase – analysing their value, when they can be delivered, and their quality. 
  • Negotiating contracts, including the quality of service. 
  • Filing contracts and using them as a reference when making future purchases. 
  • Communicating with suppliers, manufacturers, and internal departments. 
  • Ensuring that cost savings and supplier performance targets are met. 
  • Analysing data regarding spending.
  • Presenting market trends.

Most procurement officers are graduates. To become a procurement officer, any degree can be applicable, but graduates in business, economics, marketing, and retail management are the most relevant applicants. Graduate training schemes are a popular way to get into this field.

Some larger companies prefer applicants who have a business undergraduate or postgraduate degree. However, there are opportunities for people with no degree to enter the field. They would take an initial role as an assistant and work their way up. To do this, they may have to take a professional qualification during their training. They could also consider a procurement apprenticeship.

This field does have much competition, so work experience is beneficial. Candidates could work as a junior buyer, or work shadow someone in the role. Degrees often have a year in industry, where candidates would gain work experience, or internships are also available. 

Essential skills that procurement officers must have include communication abilities. They will need to be forging relationships with suppliers and internal staff regularly, so most candidates are extroverted. Negotiation skills are also a must, as they will be attempting to find the best price from buyers.

Candidates should have financial awareness and be good with numeracy. They will often need to work with numbers and data, so they should find these disciplines interesting. They also may need to work to tight deadlines, so they should be able to cope with pressure and manage their time efficiently. 

Most procurement officers are office-based, but they may need to travel to visit suppliers and customers. It is a role of great responsibility and stress at times, although many professionals report the job to be fun, social, and rewarding. Procurement officers may have the chance to travel abroad and may be expected to stay overnight on domestic and international business trips.

There are a few prospective employers for procurement officers. These include, but are not limited to: retailers, armed forces, engineering industries, health services, and pharmaceutical companies. With experience, candidates could become a chief procurement officer, head of procurement, or specialise in a specific area.

What degree is most commonly held by a Procurement Officer ?

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • MBA Finance and Agricultural Economics
  • Bachelor of Business Administration and Management
  • Honors Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Business Administration and Construction Management

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
Procurement officers have scope for travel throughout their job, and there may also be opportunities for them to work abroad. Many companies requiring procurement officers are international. Therefore they may require professionals to work in a different country for a period, finding things to sell. After a temporary period in another country, a procurement officer may be able to express their interest to stay permanently and work from there.  

What is the Salary of a Procurement Officer ?

Experience Average salary | year
Procurement Officer 1-3 yrs $56,465 £29,100 $61,890
Procurement Officer 3-5 yrs $62,868 £32,400 $71,379
Procurement Specialist 5-10 yrs $150,398 £77,510 $140,100

What skills are needed to become a Procurement Officer ?

  • Procurement
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Purchasing
  • Contract Management
  • Strategic Sourcing
  • Customer Service
  • Process Improvement
  • Microsoft Office
  • Supply Chain
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Strategy
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Change Management
  • Program Management
  • Cross-functional Team Leadership
  • Operations Management
  • Project Planning
  • Supply Management
  • Logistics

Procurement Courses

As there is a lot of competition for procurement roles, extra courses to supplement a candidate’s application are beneficial. At FutureLearn, we have forward-thinking courses such as procurement strategies and sustainability and green logistics.
  • Procurement Strategies and Tendering

    Explore procurement strategies and the procurement process in the context of the construction industry

  • Contract Management and Procurement: An Introduction

    Explore the fundamentals of contract management and learn about the contract management process in construction

  • Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

    Learn to build relationships and manage contracts successfully with this free online course backed by UK government and IACCM

  • Sustainability and Green Logistics: An Introduction

    Explore the principles of sustainability and understand how to create more sustainable logistics and procurement practices

  • Pre-Contract Management for Construction Projects: The Basics

    Understand the pre-contract management process for construction projects considering procurement and tendering

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